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COL. GEORGE BRISTOL (RET.) SOUGHT FOR TESTIMONY ON BENGHAZI; GIBSON ALLEGEDLY DENIES “STAND-DOWN” ORDER GIVEN
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 5, 2013) — Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wishes to interview retired Col. George Bristol, who was in the chain of command from which a “stand-down” order reportedly was issued on the night of September 11, 2012 after the attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.
The violence from Islamic militants resulted in the torching of the building and the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
The Obama regime has not been forthcoming with details on why military assistance was not dispatched to Benghazi after officers received an instant message which would have been generated as a result of the attack. Contingency plans which would have been in place for such an emergency were not carried out.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace stated on May 19 that Obama had wanted to “deploy forces” to the outpost, a claim which has never been substantiated by the White House or members of the military. Rather, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress that he did not have enough “information” to send military units to assist, even though a drone was dispatched and flew overhead taking video which was transmitted to Washington in real time.
The day following the attack, Obama flew to a scheduled fundraiser in Las Vegas with the knowledge that four Americans had died. His whereabouts and activities on the night of September 11 are unknown, and Obama has been accused of dereliction of duty in his obligations as de facto commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.
On September 11, Bristol was under the command of Adm. Brian Losey with the title of Commander, Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara. Special Operations are not limited by geographical constraints but are grouped by special skill sets.
On March 13, 2013, Bristol retired.
Last month, Losey received a promotion to Commander of Navy Special Warfare Command.
General Carter Ham, former commander of AFRICOM, which is a regional command, formally retired on April 8, 2013, but the Pentagon reportedly told Chaffetz that Ham “is not fully retired” when he noted that Ham testified in a closed-door House Armed Services Committee on June 26 but Bristol did not. The Pentagon said that Bristol can be subpoenaed by the Oversight Committee if necessary but that “they don’t know where he is.”
Retired members of the military have written and told The Post & Email directly that they can confirm that Ham was relieved of his command by his second-in-command, Gen. David Rodriguez, on the night of September 11 after he refused to convey the “stand-down” order which is said to have come from the White House.
On October 18, Panetta announced that Ham would be retiring; Obama then nominated Rodriguez to succeed Ham. Rodriguez is reported to have assumed command of AFRICOM three days prior to Ham’s official retirement.
In explanation of the events in Benghazi, Panetta stated that Ham had agreed that sending troops into a volatile situation without enough information would not have been wise, but Chaffetz, who spoke with Ham while in Libya on a fact-finding mission after the Benghazi attack, told Fox News that Ham said that “resources” were available but that “he was not requested” to dispatch them on September 11.
However, the unfolding of contingency plans would have resulted in military intervention, whether by Ham’s units or Special Operations units, or both. In late October, Fox News reported that three requests for help issued by CIA operatives in Benghazi were refused.
Obama’s putative CIA Director, John Brennan, reportedly reviewed security for U.S. interests around the world prior to the September 11 anniversary, but Ham said he “was not consulted” about it.
Another officer in the same Special Operations chain of command under Bristol was Lt. Col. Steve Gibson, who CBS News identified as “Lt. Col. Michael Gibson.” Gibson was mentioned by former Libya charge d’affaires Gregory Hicks in his May 8 testimony to the House Oversight Committee regarding how he learned that the Benghazi mission was under attack, including Stevens’ last telephone call to him shortly after the attack began.
On June 27, the House Armed Services Committee reportedly stated that Gibson denied having been told to “stand down.”
Ham, Losey and Gibson testified on June 26, but Bristol did not. However, Bristol was reachable on April 15, 2013, when he reportedly provided a statement on a joint AFRICOM and Special Operations project named “Flintlock.” As presented in the report, Bristol appeared to be in Mauritania helping to coordinate the Flintlock mission and was identified as “former commander” of “JSOTF-TS.” However, an article from “Stars and Stripes” about Bristol’s retirement placed him in Mauritania prior to March 13.
Upon his retirement, Bristol was quoted as having said that “an evil” from “Islamic militant groups” in Africa must be fought and extinguished.
The Obama regime has reportedly discouraged survivors of the Benghazi attack from speaking with members of Congress about their experiences. One who was said to have been seriously injured by Hicks may have been visited by putative Secretary of State John Kerry, who was sailing on Nantucket Sound as Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was removed from power by popular protests and the intervention of the Egyptian military.